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  • Author: Rachid Chennani
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Moroccan state started to seriously interact with the human rights discourse in the early 1990s due to long domestic struggles by human rights advocates and global pressures to reform. At the same time, human rights organizations have developed and set aside much of their political lineage, taking up an active role in policy advocacy and pushing for alternatives to meet growing social and societal demands. The 2011 movement has revitalized the human rights approach to politics and social problems, and culminated a decades-long struggle to peacefully and gradually move to a social rights-based contract with the state. Such a state of affairs no longer seems far off.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Mohamed El Agati
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The Egyptian state seeks to control civil society through laws and puts in place security measures to restrict its action, while civil society organizations, especially rights groups, deploy various strategies to ensure a minimal space for action. In this struggle, a solution lies not only in legislation enabling the participation of independent civil society but more in the opening of the political domain itself. In a context where the real danger lies in the continuation of a status quo that prevents the construction of a modern democratic state, civil society must build wider social and political network to enable it to influence state decisions and represent rights holders.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Youssef Mounsif
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: A deeper and broader national transformation took root in Morocco as bridges started to appear over the gap between an alleged elitism of the human rights movement and the “masses”, with human rights organizations refocussing on social, economic and localized causes of various communities. As in other similar countries, rights actors collide with existing economic and political arrangements and the entrenched networks of patronage. This will be their challenge for years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Hatem Chakroun
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The interaction between Tunisian human rights organizations and movements struggling for economic and social rights present the former with hard questions and important challenges. Human rights actors need to scrutinize their role and tactics to decide whether they would remain in the fast eroding mediation level (between the movements and the state) or they could explore other avenues that can address the complex issues of representation and brokerage between human rights defenders and the bearers of these very rights who are busy developing new ways of defending themselves.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Amr Adly
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The economic and social rights movement has struck some success in working with contentious movements to challenge public policies and institutions in Egypt. However, no organic relationship developed between the two. The contentious movement did not strategically adopt an economic and social rights framing that would have enabled it to get beyond its local, largely apolitical and un-institutionalized characteristics in favour of a nationwide platform.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Mohammad Tariq
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper concludes a series on governance and human rights action in North Africa. Written by Mohammad Tariq, it presents a preliminary analysis of the issues of governance in human rights organizations in Morocco. Such a research faces methodological and practical impediments stemming from the scarcity of information on funding flows and other governance issues.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Hafedh Chekir
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: ARI's project on the Future of Human Rights Action in North Africa continues to explore the governance challenges and moves in this paper to Tunisia where prominent feminist, academic and human rights defender Hafidha Chekir explores the legal environment of civil society organizations in Tunisia and how this affected their own internal governance.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Yara Shahin
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper explores the state of internal governance in Egyptian human rights NGOs. It looks at their internal structures including; decision-making processes, the existence and role of governing boards, relationships with donors, levels of accountability and representation of constituencies along with the relationship with the government within a restrictive legal and political environment. It argues that while the restrictive environment for civil society in Egypt has hindered the development of stronger internal governance mechanisms in many organizations, the internal dynamics of these organizations have also contributed to the weak internal governance structures in most of them. The dilemmas that persisted through different generations and phases of Egyptian human rights organizations include balancing activism on public issues with bureaucratization and professionalization of vehicle organizations, the difficulty for and resistance from founders/directors to leave their influential posts, developing better participatory mechanisms of accountability towards the NGOs constituencies and addressing the “stigma” of foreign funding
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Adel Abdel Ghafar
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The state was the subject of political and political economic analysis in general in the post-independence period. This was also the case in the Arab region, where new states emerged with cumbersome civil bureaucracies and large military and security apparatus, and with huge powers to control the management and direction of (natural and human) economic resources. It was as if the burden of economic and social modernization had been placed on those newly independent States in the face of traditional societies lacking the social classes capable of advancing modernization, be they bourgeois or national proletariat. Despite the decline of the development models of the state by the seventies, the Arab state has continued to be the focus of analysis of development and modernization with the flow of oil money and the emergence of rentierism in most, if not all, the Arab countries, whether direct producers of oil or receivers of oil through secondary flows. This has placed emphasis on the importance of the state as a holder of wealth and as a source of distribution for different social strata.
  • Topic: Education, Reform
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Fouad Halbouni
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper explores how the emergence of revolutionary youth movements have destabilized the different forms of political and religious identification inherited from the world of the Mubarak regime. I am interested basically in showing how revolutionary politics introduced new forms of identification that broke with the exclusionary binaries upon which Mubarak's world was based. In order to track those transformations, one needs to take a second look at revolutionary politics, its disruptive force of all existent grounds upon which these political and religious identities had root themselves
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Hana Jaber
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In this new research paper, Hana Jaber outlines the history of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and its transformation to a political force, and identifies the unexpected developments the group has experienced in an increasingly complex regional context.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Jordan
  • Author: Yosra El Gendi
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: On October 13, 2014 in Corniche Street, Alexandria a police superintendent at a checkpoint and a navy officer engaged in a fist fight. The army officer contacted the military police which took the police officer and superintendent at the checkpoint to an army base where they were requested to stand hours in the sun as a form of punishment (Madgy et al., 2015). While many insist that these are individual incidents (Abdel- Aal, 2015). This is only one incident of at least 6 of clashes between members of both institutions since the 2011 uprising (Madgy, 2015). These incidents that point to the different security institutions’ extensive powers and the divisive structure in which they are based, a structure that was once called a “mamluk state” (al- Sherif, 2012). This points to the failed processes of state-building at the core of the institutional weaknesses in Egypt.
  • Topic: Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Belhassen Ennouri
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: The field of democratization studies is interested by the transformation of political systems from authoritarian regimes to another type of political system that cannot be pre-determined. This study has emerged in the context the so-called third wave of democratization that began with the Spanish and Portuguese experiences in the 1970s, and then spread to Latin America in the 1980s, sweeping Eastern Europe in the 1990s. Indeed, the success of the Spanish experience in democratization has rendered the case a useful model for studying other cases. The study of the democratic transition – itself an experimental process – has moved from investigating historical experiences to developing a theoretical framework that involves a procedural and practical approach to understanding the instability and volatility of the phenomenon. The study of the democratic transition has been criticized, despite important contributions on the part of researchers. To this point, the notion of a “theory of transition” is at the heart of critical scientific debate.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Asma Nouira
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This is the third and last survey paper on the evolution and challenges of Human Rights Action in North Africa. It is focused on the evolution and challenges of the human rights movement in Tunisia. The first organized group was the Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights in 1977 (Ligue Tunisienne de la Défense des Droits de l’Homme, LTDH). The LTDH remained the only organization active in the field of human rights throughout the first decade of the history of the Tunisian human rights movement. Since its inception, the LTDH has acted as a refuge for political activists of various ideological and political backgrounds, sometimes resulting in conflating political and rights’ activism, despite attempts by the founders to separate the two fields
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Mohamed Kadiri
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This study is the second paper ARI publishes as part of our ambitious "Future of Human Rights Action in North Africa". In this paper, Mohamed Kadiri, tackles the evolution of the human rights movement in Morocco through studying the context and conditions under which human rights actors appeared and the influences that shaped their development, current challenges and could dictate their future prospects.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Morocco
  • Author: Yasmine Shash
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes a chronology of Egypt’s human rights movement since its birth in 1985 going through its different phases and generations until 2016. It starts with a brief history of the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights, the challenges it faced and the conceptual differences that led to its fragmentation in early 1994.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Salam Kawakibi
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: In this new research paper, ARI’s Deputy Director, Salam Kawakibi analyses the Assad regime’s exploitation of sectarian and confessional divisions and deconstructs the myths used in its political rhetoric to gain power and present itself as the ultimate line of defence for minorities.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Ahmed Abd Rabou
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: This book focuses on Civil-Military Relations (CMR) in Egypt, a country that witnessed uprisings calling for democratic change in January 2011, which led to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak from the Presidency, the suspension of the constitution, and the dissolution of the parliament as well as the ruling of the National Democratic Party (NDP). Ironically, revolutionary forces in Egypt were dependent on the Egyptian military in taking these steps, with the military ultimately taking power some 30 months later.
  • Topic: Civil Society
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Farah Ramzy
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Research focusing on non-formal political and social stakeholders/activists has been generally side-lined as a subject of political, sociological, and economic studies in the Arab world. This has been the case since the emergence of these sub-fields in the post-independence period of the 1960s, as Arab universities and research centres were founding their academic fields, until today. The exception that confirmed the rule was the Marxist approaches that succeeded in fostering a small but steady number of research groups interested mainly in workers’ and labor movements, and in particular unions, or in rural sociology as a reflection of the expression of class struggle within Arab societies.
  • Topic: Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Ismail Fayad
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Research focusing on non-formal political and social stakeholders/activists has been generally side-lined as a subject of political, sociological, and economic studies in the Arab world. This has been the case since the emergence of these sub-fields in the post-independence period of the 1960s, as Arab universities and research centres were founding their academic fields, until today. The exception that confirmed the rule was the Marxist approaches that succeeded in fostering a small but steady number of research groups interested mainly in workers’ and labor movements, and in particular unions, or in rural sociology as a reflection of the expression of class struggle within Arab societies.
  • Topic: International Organization, Political Activism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus